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January 26, 2021

Family Caregiving Positioned Cynthia for Her Career

Caregiver of the Quarter Cynthia

Cynthia was honored as CAREGiver of the Quarter one year after she started with the Home Instead® franchise owned by Mechelle and David Minter. Cynthia learned about caregiving long before she went to work with the award-winning office that serves central Houston.

“I’ve been doing this kind of work since I was a kid,” Cynthia said. “I remember helping my grandmother when I was as young as 10. She stayed in the front part of our house. In the mornings, I’d fix her breakfast and wash her face. I was taught how to provide personal care for her. Our family did not believe in nursing homes.”

Later, Cynthia’s more detailed caregiving knowledge was acquired out of necessity. It consisted of a short, intensive training course from a cousin who was a registered nurse. Cynthia’s brother was paralyzed at age 25 as the result of a car accident. “My cousin taught my mother, one of my sisters and me how to take care of him,” said Cynthia, whose brother nearly reached 56 before he passed away.

“Later,” Cynthia said, “I also took care of my mother, my father and a sister so they all could remain at home before they died. My sister Myra helped me take care of them. Before Mom died, she pointed to our brother and told us, ‘Don’t ever put my child in a nursing home.’ So, Myra and I took turns taking care of him.”

Cynthia added: “Myra and I took care of my mother for 25 years while we had jobs. In 2001, I left a hospital job to help take care of my dad. I’d been at a hospital for 18 years before taking the leave of absence. Dad died at age 84 in 2004. When I was taking care of him, he imparted a bit of wisdom. He said, ‘Once a man and twice a child.’ It meant we start as a child and end that way if we live long enough. It is so true.”

Cynthia has been a CNA off and on since 1988. Her hospital and home-care experiences were instrumental in providing a client with tried-and-true techniques that helped immensely as the client continued her journey to recovery from foot injuries. “No one had shown my client how to cope with her obstacles. She needed some specific help with daily living before they released her to go home. I learned many of those things more than 30 years ago when I began working for a hospital as a nurse’s aide,” Cynthia said. “Everything came together and helped the client.”

Cynthia lost the 67-year-old client about three days after Thanksgiving because she had recovered from her injuries and was able to live independently without help. “You hate to lose a client, but I was very happy for her. She kept requesting me after I went to assist her for the first time. That made me feel good. I began helping her in September and stayed with her for about 2½ months. She looked great, and she was getting along really well in terms of mobility. As time went on, she eliminated the CAREGiver night shifts and kept me on during the day. She was very nice. She trusted me, and we worked well together,” Cynthia said.

Not long after Cynthia lost her client as the result of the successful recovery, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Kae Taylor announced Cynthia’s CAREGiver of the Quarter honor. “I was surprised to be selected for the award. I never win anything. They are a good, kind office staff and bosses. The office tries to help me out with scheduling flexibility. I love my work. It is not hard or overwhelming. I just help people who need help. Some just want to stay out of a facility,” said Cynthia, who noted that the CAREGivers’ added responsibility for guarding against the COVID-19 virus wasn’t an especially big burden for her.

“I am not stressed by COVID-19. I’ve tested negative twice. I tested not only for myself and my clients but also for my son, who lives with me and is immune-compromised. I will continue to be tested. I would take the vaccination when it becomes available because that would help my son in addition to my clients.”

As for her future, Cynthia said: “I just want to try to keep going. My sister Myra, who has been a CNA for a long time, had to make adjustments because of COVID-19. She formerly was a traveling nurse and now works in a New Orleans-area nursing home because traveling nurses were having a difficult time finding work. I feel I am positioned well in my job.”

All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (713) 403-2273 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.